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West Coast Eagles produce stunning first half against Essendon despite missing Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps

In a week where some questioned where West Coast’s goals would come from without three of their best forwards, Liam Ryan reminded everyone that he’s still flyin’.

The goalsneak tonight picked up where he left off late last week against Richmond, relishing the extra space and responsibility deep in the Eagles’ forward line to boot three first-half goals.

It propelled West Coast to a handy 7.3 (45) to 4.5 (29) lead at the main break despite missing Josh Kennedy, Jamie Cripps and Jake Waterman as they look to return to the winners’ list following the loss to the Tigers.

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Ryan made a dream start inside the opening seconds with a mark and set-shot conversion, before booting two in the space of a minute in the second term as the Eagles put their foot down.

It was made possible by some crisp delivery from Tim Kelly (9 first-half disposals) and Andrew Gaff (13) as West Coast’s engine room got on top, before the Bombers finished the second term with a late flurry.

Eagles second-gamer Bailey Williams provided a highlight with a debut goal he’ll never forget.

The ruckman was mobbed by teammates after a superb soccered effort late in the opening term.

Jack Darling finished the first term with his left eye partially closed after copping a stray finger from Marty Gleeson during a mark and successful set shot, but didn’t leave the field.

West Coast allowed the Bombers to sneak a few late goals, reducing the half-time margin to 16-points.

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